Milk Street Thanksgiving: Cranberry and Candied Ginger Buckle

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Cranberry and Candied Ginger Buckle
1 hour 10 minutes (30 minutes active, plus cooling)
12 servings

A buckle is a fruit-studded cake with a buttery crumb topping; it’s a great breakfast treat, an excellent midday sweet alongside tea or coffee or a casual, not-too-heavy after-dinner dessert. Our version is loosely based on a recipe in “Rustic Fruit Desserts” by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson. Instead of making an entirely separate crumb topping, we remove a portion of the flour-sugar-butter mixture that is the base of the cake, then mix in a few additional ingredients to create a mixture that bakes up with just the right crumbly texture. Covered tightly at room temperature, leftovers keep for up to three
days.

Don’t forget to thaw the cranberries, if using frozen. If the fruits are freezer-cold and firm, they will cause the batter to stiffen and make mixing difficult.

INGREDIENTS
390 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
214 grams (1 cup) white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tablespoon table salt
12 tablespoons (11⁄2 sticks), plus 2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes and chilled, reserved separately
42 grams (3 tablespoons) packed dark brown sugar
40 grams (1⁄3 cup) sliced almonds
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
340 grams (12 ounces/3 cups) fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
85 grams (1⁄2 cup) finely chopped candied ginger
Powdered sugar, to serve (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist a 9-by- 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, dust evenly with flour, then tap out the excess.

2. In a food processor, combine the flour, white sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until well combined, 6 to 8 pulses. Scatter the 12 tablespoons butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 20 pulses. Transfer to a large bowl, then measure out 165 grams (1 cup) of the mixture and return it
to the food processor. To the food processor, add the brown sugar, almonds and remaining 2 tablespoons butter, then pulse until the mixture begins to clump and resembles wet sand, about 20 pulses; transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Pour into the large bowl of flour-butter mixture and fold with a silicone spatula until only a few streaks of flour remain. Add the cranberries and candied ginger, then fold until evenly distributed; the batter will be thick. Transfer to the prepared pan and spread in an even layer.

4. Using your hands, squeeze the almond-flour mixture into rough 1⁄2- inch clumps, then scatter evenly over the batter in the pan. Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving, if desired.


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PHOTO CREDITS: CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL’S MILK STREET